If you’ve ever visited Colorado Springs, Colorado, and seen one of the most famous mountains in the world, Pikes Peak, and another of the most famous scenic sites anywhere, the Garden of the Gods, have you ever wondered about the history of the area? Have you ever wondered what kind of men and women settled in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area? Have you ever wondered what kind of stories exist about the area? If so, you can find a lot of the answers concerning the history of the Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs region in Old Colorado City, a part of Colorado Springs that was once the capitol for the territory of Colorado.
The Old Colorado City is a three-block area that is an historic district full of restored brick buildings. The area that is now a major tourist area for those who wish to shop and dine, with 113 shops, restaurants, and galleries was the capitol of the territory of Colorado briefly in 1861, before it was changed to Denver, because of inadequate facilities. The towering trees and old brick buildings give the area a visual appeal not seen everywhere. None of the restaurants is a part of a restaurant chain. The area has a museum that is full of local folklore.
Old Colorado City is the oldest city in the state of Colorado and has been in existence since 1859. In the early days it had a high number of outlaws and other troublemakers who were often in the 21 local saloons–and the local jail.
Besides the history, museum, and local restaurants and galleries, Old Colorado City has events all year long that make the area even more appealing. Some of them are Ice on the Avenue, where visitors can see 300 pound blocks of ice professionally cared into works of art, the Easter Egg Hunt, and Territory Days, which celebrates when the area was the capitol and has gold panning, a mechanical bull ride, and various entertainment, the Colorado Mounted Rangers Territorial Jail, pony rides, and the Gold Canyon Gun Fighters.
Other events include the Good Times Car Show, Scarecrow Days, and the Great Pumpkin Weigh Off, with pumpkins that weigh from a few hundred pounds to more than 1,000 pounds. Other events have including singing during Art Walk and the Farmer’s Market.
Those who want to learn more about Old Colorado City and its history may visit The Old Colorado City Historical Society’s History Center on Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in July and August. Admission is free. Those who visit can learn more about the personalities and lives of those who lived in the area when it was founded. One can view artifacts, displays and pictures. There is also a gift store. This year is the 150th anniversary of the founding of Old Colorado City.
If you visit the museum, you can learn about the founding of Old Colorado City, the Midland Band Music, the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Colorado, and the first Legislative Manual of the State of Colorado.
There are many interesting characters you can learn about, such as Judge Edmond T. Stone, who along George Butte played a major role in the founding and development of the area. Mrs. Murat was the only woman in the prospecting party. George H. Tappan was the first postmaster, operated a general store, and was elected as one of the early leaders of the vigilante form government chosen at that time.
One can also learn about local stories, such as the Lonely Burgess Cabin, Swindling Salt for Butter, Disappearing Biscuits, and Guilty or Not Guilty.
Whenever you visit Colorado Springs, you might want to consider a trip to Old Colorado City and The Old Colorado City Historical Society’s History Center.
Old Colorado City Historic District , no author listed, Travel.yahoo.com
Colorado’s Old Town, …. Shop, Dine, Discover, no author listed, Shopoldcoloradocity.com
Welcome to Old Colorado City Historical Society, no author listed, History.oldcolo.com